Demand for commercial property has hit its highest level in two years, according to new figures from the CBI and GVA Grimley. The report claimed that businesses are looking to increase their property holdings during the first half of 2004 to reflect mounting business optimism.
The retail sector is expected to see the biggest rise in demand, although even the manufacturing sector’s outlook is more positive.
The survey said that over the last six months, the number of companies increasing their property holdings outweighed those reporting a decrease by 19%. Only 6% of businesses reported that they were downscaling their property holdings, the lowest level for nine years.
The Midlands saw a rise in demand of 21%, compared with 16% in the South East. However, the South West and Wales reported flat demand, while the figure actually fell in the North and Scotland.
Doug Godden, Head of Economic Analysis at the CBI, commented: “There is a new-found confidence to the commercial property market. Demand for the property bounced back over the last six months and with wider economic conditions improving, property holdings are expected to increase over the coming six months for all types of property.”